A legislative instrument (L.I.) to enforce buffer zone regulations to check the pollution of water bodies by human activities is in the offing, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Cecelia Abena Dapaah, has indicated.
According to her, the L.I. would strengthen regulatory processes of watersheds across the country to conserve water resources.
“Additionally, a Water Resources Pollution Preventing and Control Regulation is also underway,” she stated in a speech read on her behalf by the Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr Clifford Braimah, at an event to mark this year’s Green Ghana Day.
Organised by the Water Resources Commission, the event saw the planting of about 400 tree seedlings around the Weija Dam site in Accra.
Tree species including Tree of Life, Milicia Excelsa, Leucaena and Balsam Poplar were planted to serve as buffer to the river body.
The Minister, who noted the level of impunity towards the dam including encroachment, pollution and illegal mining activities, expressed her Ministry’s resolve to stop the damage.
“We have sent notices of warning and even engaged the services of security personnel to patrol the place.
The Ministry and all relevant regulatory bodies of the State are working assiduously to stop the encroachment and pollution and same effort shall be replicated countrywide to ensure responsible mining, management of waste and exploitation of all natural resources,” she said.
Ms Dapaah said as a matter of urgency, Ghanaians must adopt the habit of growing trees to keep the environment as green as possible and enhance life and well-being.
“We should all help preserve our water bodies and report unreasonable individuals to the security operative,” she advised.
The Communications Manager of the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, said the cost of water production was high due to negative activities that threatened most of Ghana’s water resources.
He said it was the reason the GWCL was demanding an adjustment in water tariffs to be able to deliver on its mandate.
“For the past 15 years, cost of water production has been rising astronomically because of pollution of river bodies.
“The volumes of water we need to extract for treatment is one of the reasons we are demanding upward adjustment of tariffs,” he noted.
Mr Martey implored all and sundry to put their shoulders to the wheel in protecting the country’s water bodies.
“It’s essential we protect our water bodies through activities such as tree planting, stop the pollution, and our assemblies ensuring that those encroaching on our buffers are evicted,” he said.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the Weija-Gbawe, Patrick Kumor, called for a change in attitude towards the environment “so that the future generation will have a better place to live”.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH